Cities of the Red Night

Cities of the Red Night

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by William S. Burroughs
     
 

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While young men wage war against an evil empire of zealous mutants, the population of this modern inferno is afflicted with the epidemic of a radioactive virus. An opium-infused apocalyptic vision from the legendary author of Naked Lunch is the first of the trilogy with The Places of the Dead Roads and his final novel, The Western Plains.

Overview

While young men wage war against an evil empire of zealous mutants, the population of this modern inferno is afflicted with the epidemic of a radioactive virus. An opium-infused apocalyptic vision from the legendary author of Naked Lunch is the first of the trilogy with The Places of the Dead Roads and his final novel, The Western Plains.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Cities of the Red Night is Burroughs's masterpiece. In it, the world ends with a bang--and a barely perceived whimper, disguised by the wicked smile of one of the most dazzling magicians of our time.” —Los Angeles Time Book Review

Cities of the Red Night is not only Burroughs' best work, but a logical and ripening extension of all of Burroughs's great work.” —Ken Kesey

“One should approach Cities of the Red Night as the Wagneresque capper of all the five or six homosexual planet-operas Burroughs has scripted since he found a genuine new style in Naked Lunch . . . It's as if we had gotten hold of a black ticket to his unconscious, and anyone who makes the trip will see sights and feel feelings that are unique and mind-bending beyond anyone else's description” —The Washington Post Book World

Cities of the Red Night is the most complete and most devastatingly sardonic statement of William Burroughs's apocalyptic vision. Through his mordant satire of cultural aspirations, homosexual eroticism and political power, he focuses our gaze into the abyss. His cold, surgical language creates beauty through a terror that we are just able to bear . . . A modern Inferno.” —Newsday

Kirkus Reviews
As long as the Beat Generation continues to engage self-styled hipsters, counter-culturalists, and transgressors, the work of the late Burroughs (1914—97) will continue to waste precious wood pulp. Admired for what we now know to be something of a group effort—Naked Lunch—Burroughs never repeated its critical success, though extraliterary scandal (and constant marketing by Allen Ginsberg) helped keep him in the public eye. First published in 1981, Cities of the Red Night was no exception: Kirkus pronounced it DOA. Meandering and full of "neo-Reichian crackpottery," we dismissed it as "ponderous, self-anesthetized," and dealing in "pursy anarcho-pietisms and tennis-shoe philosophy." Worst of all, it's "not at all funny"—"a sad come-down" for a writer who once seemed to have an almost vaudevillian sense of shtick and surprise. What's left, then and now? Kirkus's view still holds: "a dry schist of pornographic semi-moralism so flavorlessly numbing that we can't really imagine it offending" anyone, puritans or plain-old readers.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312278465
Publisher:
Picador
Publication date:
05/28/2001
Series:
Western Lands Trilogy, #1
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
507,592
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.96(d)

Meet the Author

William S. Burroughs was born in St. Louis in 1914. He is best-known work is 1959's Naked Lunch—which became the focus of a landmark 1962 Supreme Court decision that helped eliminate literary censorship in the United States. Described by Norman Mailer as one of America's few writers genuinely "possessed by genius," he died in 1997. His many other works include Junky and The Place of Dead Roads (Picador).

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
February 4, 1914
Date of Death:
August 2, 1997
Place of Birth:
St. Louis, Missouri
Place of Death:
Lawrence, Kansas
Education:
Los Alamos Ranch School; A.B., Harvard University, 1936; graduate study, 1938

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Cities of the Red Night 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Terrible. No place for no stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago